We’ve noted repeatedly this week the dismal election prospects for Democrats in November, but what might change the dynamic of this cycle? A number of veteran political observers, including many Republican grandees, wonder if a Supreme Court ruling in June that upholds Mississippi’s 15-week abortion limit might galvanize Democrats and swing voters.
It is possible, especially since the media will embrace and promote the hysterical claims of the radical pro-abortionists that any restriction of abortion is the end of the world and an “attack on all women.” However, if the left goes full Kavanaugh-Hearing mode, it might well turn off swing voters and suburban women, especially when they learn that upholding Mississippi’s law will have no effect on abortion in California, New York, Illinois, etc.
It has been generally true ever since Roe v. Wade that Americans are split roughly in thirds over abortion: a third believe it should be banned in most cases; a third believe it should be allowed up to (and sometimes after) birth as a matter of fundamental right; and third in the middle who lean to allowing abortion access, but favoring certain restrictions (banning late term abortion commands large majorities). It depends on how the survey is constructed. It does appear, though, that over the last 20 years or so the balance of public opinion has shifted slightly more toward the pro-life side than the abortionist absolutist side.
Hence today’s Wall Street Journal poll on the issue suggests a Court ruling upholding Mississippi’s statute—and by extension allowing states more leeway to restrict abortion—might not have much effect in changing the partisan calculus of this year’s election:
Support for 15-Week Abortion Ban Outweighs Opposition, WSJ Poll Finds
WASHINGTON—More American voters favor the idea of a 15-week abortion ban than oppose it, according to the latest Wall Street Journal poll, as the Supreme Court prepares to issue a ruling that could alter the nation’s abortion landscape.
With lawmakers in several states pushing forward with bills that would ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, 48% of voters said they would strongly or somewhat favor such restrictions, with exemptions to protect the life of the mother, while 43% were in opposition.
At the same time, the survey found a majority of voters say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, underscoring the complicated views many Americans hold on the issue.
So it looks like the issue could be a wash in general. In which case the expected hysterical over-reaction from the left and the media could make the Court’s decision a slight net plus for Republicans, just as voters reacted against the left’s disgraceful performance in the Kavanaugh confirmation. (At least two Democrats who were defeated in the 2018 election attributed their losses to voter reaction to the left’s Kavanaugh circus.)
Incidentally, the WSJ notes this: “A report last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that about 95% of abortions in the U.S. in 2019 took place by 15 weeks of gestation.”
Also this: “Among Democrats, 21% supported a 15-week ban and 69% opposed, while among Republicans, 75% supported a 15-week ban and 20% opposed.”